Carter revs up title-chasing Blues to shoot down Gunners
Jess Carter insists Chelsea cannot afford to take their foot off the gas when they visit fellow Women's Super League title challengers Arsenal.
The Blues have yet to taste defeat this season but Sunday's visit to the Emirates is expected to be their toughest test so far.
And England ace Carter, 26, is adamant the champions must be at their best to record an eighth league win of the campaign under departing boss Emma Hayes as they chase a fifth successive title.
She told LiveScore: "Going to the Emirates isn't going to be easy.
"They're going to have a great crowd, they always do, and Arsenal are a top team who are always difficult to play against.
"We have to be at our best. It's another challenge and we can't get complacent.
"We can't take our foot off the gas at all. We have to go there and outperform them."
Pressure? What pressure?
The news that Hayes, 47, will leave the Blues for the United States women's team at the end of the season rocked her squad.
But Carter does not feel there is an expectation to give her manager the perfect send-off and would be just as determined to win the WSL if she was staying.
The Lionesses defender added: "I don't see it as pressure. Getting to the top is hard but staying there is even harder.
"When you are successful, every team sets out to beat you — perhaps even more than they do the other teams.
"But for me, whether Emma was staying or leaving, we'd want to win the league anyway.
"Every match we play is so hard. Every team we play against has stepped up another level and our main focus is trying to get three points from each game."
Show your hand
Talent galore will be on show in North London as Arsenal seek to pull level on points with their rivals.
Chelsea are the league's top scorers this term and Lauren James — who was on top form for England during the international break — has netted six of their 28.
Carter said: "Lauren's a top player. We've all seen her technical ability is unmatched.
"From ball control to dribbling and finishing, I don't really know many other players that can do what she can.
"She has the attributes to be one of the best in the world."
Arsenal are chasing their first WSL title since 2018-19 and Carter will have her work cut out as she prepares to face compatriot Beth Mead.
But the 28-cap international believes Chelsea's focus must be on their opponents as a collective and not individuals.
She added: "We don't have a plan for the likes of Beth. Arsenal are a team, they're not about an individual.
"They win and lose together and our game plan will be how can we stop Arsenal as a collective.
"Beth's a great player. She's performed very well for England and she's come back and hit the ground running after an ACL injury, so huge credit to her."
Although the focus will largely be on the domestic campaign, Hayes is keen to triumph in the Champions League before she departs for the US.
It is the one prize that has eluded her — and Carter admits it is the toughest trophy to win.
She said: "I think the Champions League is harder because you don't get as many opportunities.
"You're facing the best teams from every European nation and their styles of play are very different from the football in England."